Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year Pizza!

In the beginning...
Crust, sauce, pepperoni THEN cheese...
I'm thinking of starting a new tradition on New Year's Eve: New Year's Pizza.  Not buying a pizza, but making one at home. In my family, we've always boiled a pot of black-eyed peas with bacon and ate them at midnight, which is supposed to bring good luck for the upcoming year. So hey, why not pizza? Gerlyne and I are making a pizza from scratch this evening as a fun-together activity to ring in the New Year.  That to add to her own tradition of watching The Honeymooners marathon on Ch. 11 (WPIX) after the ball drop.  I guess I'm sharing this as a light-hearted post to end a year filled with strife, loss and unrelentingly negative news from all sides trying to overwhelm the  positive strides I've made in life.

Below is a quick account of what took place >;) 

 New Year's Pizza 

        • 1 ball of pizza dough (any size)
        • 1 jar of pizza sauce (Classico™ brand is great)
        • 1 bag shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
        • Whatever toppings you like (I prefer pepperoni)

Yeah that's right, cheese last...
Preheat conventional oven to as high as it can go (with us it's 500 degrees and then broil; I'm not sure about broiled pizza). Knead the dough for roughly three minutes, more or less,  then flatten it out into as much of a round disk shape as possible. Brush lightly with olive oil, then add sauce, spreading around evenly with a spoon or whatever is handy.  Then you lay down the toppings you like, then cover and spread the shredded cheese over the toppings and sauce. This will make a nice blanket that holds your toppings in place and protects your toppings from overcooking (unless they are absolutely raw and you want them thoroughly singed). Put the whole thing on a pan or pizza stone (if you're lucky), or like the second one I made, in a skillet and let cook in the oven for 10 minutes.  The high heat will raise the edge of the crust just like you see in the pizza parlor.  It should be done within ten minutes, so take it out, let it rest until it's warm to the touch and serve.  You can vary it any way you like, but with simple store-bought ingredients it doesn't take more than 30 minutes (take that, Domino's and Papa John's!)
Yeah! Tastes as good as it looks, too! I guess this is our new tradition.
 Yep, turned out pretty good! I topped my slices off with oregano and crushed red pepper (I used to avoid until earlier in the year, believe it or not...) We used store-bought frozen dough that had to thaw for several hours, plus the other ingredients were pre-made, so it wasn't an authentic Pizza Parlor experience in the sense or making it totally from scratch, but for what it was worth it was easy, fun, cost effective and doggone good pizza and great for a last-minute dinner or treat, such as New Year's tends to be.  Being a pizza snob, I can spend a good amount of time analyzing the ingredients and techniques if I want to, but this is not that post; it's just about having a good time.  If you try it out yourself, let me know what you did and how it turned out.  Happy New Year!

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